News Sunday, NOVEMBER 05th, 2000

By Vladimir Tax

Czech-Austrian border still blocked

Austrian anti-nuclear activists continue blockading Czech- Austrian border crossings in protest against the Temelin nuclear power station in Southern Bohemia. The blockades continue despite Austrian chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel's appeals to stop them. The protesters consider the outcome of the talks between chancellor Schuessel and Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman earlier this week as fruitless, and demand that nuclear fission in Temelin be stopped for half a year to enable a thorough, independent nuclear safety check. Czech trucks have been granted a permission by the German foreign ministry to temporarily use some of the Czech-German border crossings until the blockades end, which is expected on Monday night.

Czechs and Greeks to cooperate in restoration of the Balkans

Czech and Greek officials have agreed to cooperate in economic restoration of Yugoslavia. Greek foreign minister Jorgos Papandreu and Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman discussed the situation in the Balkans during their meeting in Prague on Friday. Both politicians spoke in favour of broad autonomy of both Kosovo and Montenegro within Yugoslavia. The Czech Republic and Greece have set up a joint commercial council with the aim to mediate joint business projects in Yugoslavia and South-Eastern Europe. One of the major projects is the renovation of the Kolumbara power station which was destroyed in NATO bombing of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo conflict. Czech Skoda Plzen will be the main contractor for the project. According to Czech foreign minister Jan Kavan, the Czech cooperation with Greece gives Czech companies a much better chance of participating in the restoration of Yugoslav economy, especially the transport and energy sectors.

Supreme Audit Office employee accused of bribery

Czech police have arrested an employee of the Supreme Audit Office on charges of bribery. The sixty-year old man and his accomplice allegedly asked for and received three million Czech crowns as a reward for compiling a positive audit report for a state-owned company prior to its privatisation. The head of the Supreme Audit Office, Lubomir Volenik, reported the culprit to the police himself, saying the institution should be the first to do away with bribery. The Supreme Audit Office is an independent institution which audits the management of state property and the performance of the national budget.

Czechs discover new comet

Astronomers from the South-Bohemian observatory on Klet have discovered a new comet which was officially codenamed P/2000 U6 and bears the name of Tichy after the astronomer who discovered it. Head of the observatory Jana Ticha said this was the first comet discovered from the Czech Republic using a modern electronic device, so-called CCD detector, and also the first one discovered from a Czech observatory since 1991. The comet orbits the Sun once in every 7 years and belongs to the Jupiter family of comets. The comet Tichy is a really small celestial body visible only with large professional telescopes.

Weather forecast

And finally, the weather forecast. We are expecting a partially cloudy day with scattered showers. The highest daytime temperatures should range from 6 to 10 degrees Celsius. The beginning of next week should see mostly clear skies, night-time lows are expected to hover around zero and afternoon highs should reach between 7 and 11 degrees Celsius.